1954: U.S. overthrows democratically-elected President Arbenz of Guatemala.
200,000 civilians killed.
On June 27, 1954, the CIA's $2.7 million Operation Sherwood culminated
in the resignation of Guatemala's President Arbenz. Arbenz was elected
in 1950 to continue, as the CIA put it, "an intensely nationalistic
program of progress colored by the touchy, anti-foreign inferiority
complex of the 'Banana Republic.'" Among other social reforms,
Arbenz nationalized the American-based United Fruit Company. Both
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother CIA director
Allen Dulles were heavily invested in UF. With Dwight Eisenhower's
approval and the help of Nicaraguan dictator Anastacio Somoza, the
CIA succeeded in replacing Arbenz with Guatemalan military general
Castillo Armas. This was the beginning of more than four decades
of tyrannical military rulers in Guatemala, all closely tied to
the United States government. In all, more than 200,000
Guatemalans have been killed or have "disappeared."
Forensic scientists are still discovering mass
From the National
The CIA's assassination
The CIA's list of people to assassinate,
with their names conveniently edited out.
A CIA commissioned overview
of the coup, written in 1994.
The dossier on the Guatemalan death
The murder of Bishop
Juan Jose Gerardi.
Overview and documents on the Guatemalan
Search the CIA reading room of declassified
documents here. Search for Arbenz AND Guatemala.